A prisoner who was re-arrested after the March 23 jail break at Kompong Cham province’s CC3 prison died last week, only hours after police returned him to the prison, CC3 deputy prison Chief Kea Sovanna said Sunday.
The prisoner, identified as Soeung Sochea, 56, was discovered on March 30 along with two other escapees on a rubber plantation near the prison in Ponhea Krek district, Kea Sovanna said.
Prison officials concluded he died the same day from overeating when he was returned to the prison, Kea Sovanna said.
“He died by eating seven dishes of rice and drinking five bottles of water,” he said, adding the man had been starving for seven days while on the run. Kea Sovanna denied any foul play was involved.
Seventeen prisoners were shot to death by prison guards as they reportedly attempted to break out of CC3 on March 23, while some 28 others escaped.
Prison Chief Sun Bunna, whom officials said was taken hostage by the prisoners, also died two days later from injuries sustained during the incident.
Human rights groups and reporters were not allowed inside the prison to verify the death toll, and officials said the bodies were hurriedly buried inside the prison compound the morning after the jail break. The names of the dead have not yet been released.
Bou Virak, researcher and monitor for local rights group Licadho, however, said Sunday that he has since been granted access inside the prison to offer treatment to those injured during the incident.
But, as the bodies of the dead were already buried, he was not able to examine them.
Bou Virak confirmed that a police report listed Soeung Sochea’s cause of death was overeating. He said Licadho will investigate the death.
Kea Sovanna said on Sunday that 17 prisoners have been rearrested and 11 remain at large.